Monday, November 07, 2005

He Said, She Said, They Searched

The Christian Science Monitor has an article today previewing an interesting Supreme Court case from Georgia that will be argued tomorrow. I can't think of a better setup than the article's opening:

In a case that could inject a new level of acrimony into failing marriages nationwide, the US Supreme Court is about to examine whether the police need the consent of one or both spouses to conduct a warrantless search of a home.
In this case the police were called to a domestic disturbance at the home of an attorney and his estranged wife. She alleged that he was using cocaine, he did the same in reverse. The police asked him for permission to search the house and he refused. They then went on to ask the wife for permission to search, which she granted. The search uncovered a small amount of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, which the police used to get a search warrant. Georgia appellate courts have held that the police could not "consent shop" in cases like this where both owners of the home are present. Georgia, of course, disagrees (as does the federal Government, via an amicus brief). Should make for an interesting argument.

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